So this day, I had a brain wave, a very intelligent one I must add, I developed a concept for a large choreography. It was going to take about roughly thirty people. Though still in its fetus form, I had laid out the plan on a map to Olanna, showing her every movement as I saw it in my head, various formations sketched on paper with appropriate music, style and costumes. She didn’t seem impressed, but didn’t discourage me either. It actually did seem larger than life coming from a 15-year old. I shrugged and folded up my paper. I never talked about it again, but I never forgot. Three months later, there was a call for an inter-school creative arts competition. Our very excited drama teacher Ms. Okeke called Olanna before the whole school to describe her brilliant idea.
Lo and behold! Before my very eyes, Olanna described word for word, the very idea I shared with her. She came well prepared with a board and marker. I stood dazed for a moment, confused, immobile. My friend, my dear “friend” stole my concept and claimed it as hers. Oh! She was so celebrated for it and even more so after we won the competition.
Days went by and I couldn’t shake it off. Her betrayal hurt so much. I tried to confront her, but she teased me and explained it away. “You are just over reacting, “she said. “Of course I know it’s your idea, I only voiced it. My success is your success”
Who was I? Olanna’s charm was overwhelming. So, I started wondering why I was over reacting, after all, though everyone celebrated her lofty idea, it was actually truly mine, we both knew that it was mine. Yes, mine the shadow, Ujunwa, Olanna’s shadow, so I was contented with that. …and so it continued in the “little” things… I forced a smile on my face and behaved like nothing was happening, though somewhere at the back of my head I was beginning to withdraw, but really couldn’t quite… after all, Olanna was still my friend…